Mikesell: Dayton will miss energy Landers brings to games

Dayton loses junior guard to shoulder injury

From the last week of November to the middle of February, the Dayton Flyers had good luck on the injury front. A team that couldn’t afford to lose any more players after seeing Jhery Matos suffer a season-ending foot injury in the sixth game kept its eight-man roster intact for an 18-game stretch.

That changed Saturday when junior guard Trey Landers sat on the bench during a game against Virginia Commonwealth with his left shoulder in a fancy-looking brace. After a 69-68 loss at UD Arena, coach Anthony Grant declined to get into specifics about the injury or to update his status beyond what was in a press release UD put out Friday night.

» VCU GAME: Five takeaways20 photos

According to the press release, Landers “will be evaluated on an ongoing basis. His return date to basketball is yet to be determined.”

Dayton forward Ryan Mikesell said the gym got quiet fast when Landers suffered the injury in practice in the days leading up to the VCU game.

“It sucks,” Mikesell said. “I really hope he can get back as quick as possible, and he’s going to try. He’s going to do everything he can.”

The Wayne grad Landers averages 9.2 points and 7.1 rebounds in 30 minutes per game. He started the first 22 games of the season before Obi Toppin took his place in the starting lineup in the last two games. Mikesell said Dayton will miss the energy Landers brings.

“You don’t have to worry about him bringing it,” he said. “He’s probably one of our most consistent guys.”

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Dunk record: Dayton's Obi Toppin scored 15 points and dunked twice against VCU. That brings his season total to 64 dunks. He's two away from tying Chris Wright's school record. Others in the top five are: Josh Cunningham (58, 2017-18); Wright (54, 2008-09); and Sean Finn (43, 2003-04).

Looking ahead: Dayton plays at first-place Davidson (19-6, 10-2) at 6 p.m. Tuesday in Davidson, N.C. The Wildcats are 12-0 at Belk Arena.

Davidson rallied from a 42-35 halftime deficit to beat Saint Joseph’s 80-72 at home Friday night with former Davidson star Steph Curry in attendance. Junior guard Jon Axel Gudmundsson scored 21 points.

Around the A-10: Saint Joseph's (11-15, 4-9) fell into 11th place with its loss to Davidson.

Duquesne (17-9, 8-5) beat George Washington 85-69 on Saturday in Pittsburgh to stay in contention for one of the top four seeds in the A-10 tournament. The Colonials (7-18, 3-9) lost their fourth straight game and stayed in 12th place.

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